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Ask Maverick Your Own Question
Maverick, Attorney
Category: Business Law
Satisfied Customers: 6421
Experience:  20 years of professional experience
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I live in colorado and worked for an orthopedic implant distributor.

Customer Question

I live in colorado and worked for an orthopedic implant distributor. I accepted a position with another company. I am owed approximately $40,000 in commissions and have not been paid. Can I place a lien on the distributor's business?
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Business Law
Expert:  Maverick replied 8 years ago.

Not directly. You need to first sue them and get a judgment from the court and then you can execute on their assets with the judgment or place a lien on their assets.


You may want to first try to report the matter to the Colorado Department of Labor. Go here to file a complaint:


Here is the CO law on the matter:


8-4-109. Termination of employment-payments required-civil penalties-payments to surviving spouse or heir

(1) (b)When an employee quits or resigns such employee's employment, the wages or compensation shall become due and payable upon the next regular payday. When a separation of employment occurs, the employer shall make the separated employee's check for wages due available at one of the following locations selected by the employer:

(I) The work site;

(II) The employer's local office; or

(III) The employee's last-known mailing address.

(3)(a) If an employer refuses to pay wages or compensation in accordance with subsection (1) of this section, the employee or his or her designated agent shall make a written demand for the payment within sixty days after the date of separation and shall state in the demand where such payment can be received.

(3) b) If an employee's earned, vested, and determinable wages or compensation are not mailed to the place of receipt specified in a demand for payment and postmarked within fourteen days after the receipt of such demand, the employer shall be liable to the employee for the wages or compensation, and a penalty of the sum of the following amounts of wages or compensation due or, if greater, the employee's average

daily earnings for each day, not to exceed ten days, until such payment or other settlement satisfactory to the employee is made:

(I) One hundred twenty-five percent of that amount of such wages or compensation up to and including seven thousand five hundred dollars; and

(II) Fifty percent of that amount of such wages or compensation that exceed seven thousand five hundred dollars.

(3)(c) If the employee can show that the employer's failure to pay is willful, the penalty required under paragraph (b) of this subsection (3) shall increase by fifty percent. Evidence that a judgment has, within the previous five years, been entered against the employer for failure to pay wages or compensation shall be admissible as evidence of willful conduct.

I would recommend that you file the complaint with the labor department and pay a local labor law lawyer about $200 to make a written demand under the law above and then wait and see what happens. If you still do not get paid, then you may want to hire the lawyer on a more long term basis.

JA experts are not permitted to have outside communications with JA customers. However, you may be able to find a labor law attorney to assist you in your area by going to or


Please click "ACCEPT" so I may get credit for my work. If you have a couple of follow-up questions I would be happy to address them for you after that at no additional charge.

Maverick and other Business Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Does the law change if I was not an "employee" but a 1099 contract labor? Commissions were paid directly to my company (s corp).
Expert:  Maverick replied 8 years ago.

If you were not an employee you would have less rights. If the commissions were owed to and made out to the name of your S-Corp (not you, personally), then it is a straight breach of contract suit. Here, you would definitely have to file suit and get a judgment before a lien can be placed as the labor board will not get involved in a civil dispute between two corporate entities.


Also, a 1099 independant contractor is not considered an "employee" under Colorado wage and hours regulations.